Nocino, Black Walnut Liquor
Yield: one gallon--a restaurant batch. You will probably want to cut this in half.
- 3 lbs young soft black walnuts
- 1.75 litres 190 proof everclear or substitute vodka
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- Zest of 2 oranges peeled with a vegetable peeler
- 2 cups chopped angelica stem or root optional
- ½ inch piece of cinnamon
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 10 allspice berries
- 10 whole cloves
- 3 star anise
- 4 cups maple syrup see note
- 4 cups water
- Wearing gloves, cut the walnuts in half.
- Toast the spices, then combine all the ingredients for the maceration, including the spices, and allow to infuse for a few months in a cool dark place. Typically I start this in early summer, and bottle it in the fall or winter. For your first try, I'd start with 3-6 months.
- After the maceration, strain the liquid, discard the solids, then add the water and maple until it tastes good to you. It should be strong.
- Store the nocino in air tight containers or in the freezer.
On Sweetening Instead of the water and maple, you can use 5 cups each white sugar and water, or just sweeten it to your taste. This is definitely on the sweet side, as I dilute it with other things most of the time.